Green Party supports the Call to Action on Puerto Rico
The Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States has endorsed A Call to Action on Puerto Rico / Un Llamado a la Accion con Puerto Rico.
This 2nd Annual Day of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico takes place on Friday, June 16, 2017 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. The event will take place on the 2nd floor of 777 United Nations Plaza in New York City.
Darlene Elias, a member of the National Party Steering Committee, will appear before the Decolonization Committee of the United Nations or Comité de Descolonización Organización de Naciones Unidas on June 16th. Ms Elias states "I will be making the case for the decolonization and or self determination for Puerto Rico". The hearing will be streamed at http://webtv.un.org.
The Green Party Platform contains the following plank on Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican Independence
In 1898, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States and has been held by the U.S. in the form of a colony ever since. In response to international pressure, in 1952, the U.S. established the "Free Associated State" status for Puerto Rico but continued to claim that Puerto Rico belongs to, yet is not a part of, the United States. The root of the crisis is the colonial status of Puerto Rico as echoed in the UN Decolonization committee resolution on Puerto Rico adopted on June 22, 2015 which states ñthe condition of political subordination prevents Puerto Rico from taking sovereign decisions to attend to its serious economic and social problems including unemployment, marginalization and poverty (Olga Sanabria Davila, Crisis and Colonialism in Puerto Rico, 10/26/15).
Greens support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in conformity with United Nations Resolution 1514(XV) of 1960. Greens call for the release of all Puerto Rican political prisoners, such as Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been held in U.S. prisons since 1981.
Greens call for the appropriate environmental clean-up and sustainable development of Vieques, the island that was used as a firing range by the U.S. military. Greens oppose recruitment of the youth of Puerto Rico into the U.S. armed forces and their deployment to U.S. wars abroad, and denounce recruitment attempts at educational institutions.
Further, Greens recognize that:
- Puerto Rico's debt is unpayable.
- That in the last 20 years alone, foreign corporations operating in Puerto Rico have reaped over 600 billion dollars in tax free profits, 10 per cent of which would suffice to pay its current otherwise unpayable debt.
- Austerity measures like a "Financial Control Authority," which have proven to exacerbate economic suffering and strip away democratic rights to self-determination, must be opposed.
- The social cost of increasing the sales tax, of reducing workers' pay, education and health services, of eliminating labor rights gained and the dismantling of the retirement system among other recessionary measures, are a detriment to the quality of life of the people of Puerto Rico and to the strategic development of the country's economy.
Thus, these measures are not a solution.
The present fiscal and economic crisis in Puerto Rico is largely due to the United States' colonial power and exploitation in Puerto Rico. Further, although Puerto Rico is a tropical island country seriously being affected by climate change, it is powerless to participate in initiatives and international negotiations to control and mitigate climate change and global warming.
As as a colony of the United States, Puerto Rico's position of political subordination cuts across the problem and independence would break the stalemate and create the possibilities of a solution.
Commitment to grassroots democracy is totally consistent with support for the decolonization of Puerto Rico as colonialism is contrary to democracy. For the country ruled, democracy is non-existent where one country rules over another, even if there are elections every four years to elect local authorities.
Taking into account that in Puerto Rico the United States controls commerce, international relations, immigration, monetary issues, communications, postal matters, defense, labor relations, and others, to truly support democracy in Puerto Rico, its decolonization has to be supported as the first step for the Puerto Rican people to live in a democracy.